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Macros for pvp, respecing, grabbing huttballs. Legal?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
Macros for pvp, respecing, grabbing huttballs. Legal?
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Altheran's Avatar


Altheran
06.22.2013 , 04:54 PM | #281
Quote: Originally Posted by Syberduh View Post
I think part of the reason that people are bemused by this stance is that a cycling macro like the one okayed by Phillip_BW is a more complex script than many of the disallowed ones.
Not difficult at all. For the macro that he said to be allowed, you just have to ask the macro to impulse "1","2","3" and "4" in a short time frame. It's the game itself which will act as a script. There is nothing simplier.

If "1" is off-CD => "1" will be accepted, then "2","3","4" will be in "can't use yet" status because of GCD
If "1" is on CD, while "2" is not => "1" will be refused, "2" will be accepted, "3" and "4" will fail thanks to GCD
If "1" and "2" are on CD while "3" isn't => "1" and "2" will be refused, "3" will be accepted, "4" will fail thanks to GCD
You guess the last cases when only "4" is avaliable, and when none are.

This macro is in "grey-area" because the automation can be argued.

Note that as soon as one of the abilities is unaffected by GCD, the macro will make 2 abilities fire. It will be forbidden.

Hizoka's Avatar


Hizoka
06.22.2013 , 11:33 PM | #282
Quote: Originally Posted by Phillip_BW View Post

So a number of people have asked about text macros. A couple of others (even on reddit!) have mentioned 'colour detection to determine which action to take' systems. I even saw a questions about sequence clicking... I even saw claims that we can't detect anything and won't do a thing about this issue.

I'll address all four...

Text Macros
Strictly speaking, text macro's are against the ToS. If its for emotes etc and isn't being used as a way to advise others of an impending attack in a Warzone (inc snow! for example), then we will turn a blind eye to an extent. If you fire off emotes too many times in quick succession of course then you will get evaluated for if you are spamming.

One click 'enter chat, type 'inc snow!', hit enter' text macros designed to warn others is completely against the ToS. You need to make a decision - do I take the time to type 'inc snow' to the ops group, or do I just keep fighting this person... Think of it as an evaluation on if you are using a tool that gives you an unfair advantage over somebody not using that same tool.

Colour detection and evaluated action macros
The very act of determining a colour of a pixel on screen and as a result then using a specific action is one of the easy to understand examples of what we call automation. As soon as you have two things happening based on one key press, then its against the ToS.

Sequence clicking
If you have a system set up so that if you hit the same key 4 times likes so: '1, 1, 1, 1' and instead of just firing off whatever 1 is bound to it fires off '1, 2, 3, 4', then as long as you keep it to 'one key == one other key hit' its in that grey area of not true automation. There is a caveat - you can't have the macro determine a minimum time between clicks to work around the global cool down timing and only fire the next button in sequence if the GCD has expired.

If you instead have a system that when you hit 1, it fires of 1, 2, 3, 4 in quick succession or all at once (i.e. one click == many actions) in order to try and fire something that isn't currently in a cool down state then yes, that is against the ToS. Again, one click must always equal one action and only one action within the game.

Detection of abuse
There are many claims based on guesswork that we can't tell when a person is running automation for systems like field respeccing within seconds. Every time you interact with the server we log either the specific event or an aggregate of similar events firing multiple times. We can (and do!) look through those logs using analytic engines. If you want to know more about the concept, look up 'big data' in google - we strive to make all decisions on making changes to the game based on the data we have, and we have a lot of data.

We also use that data for game forensics - we may not react in a real-time manner for most things, but as people foolish enough to speedhack know, we can and do act based on irrefutable data.

Now, all that said, what are we going to be doing going forwards now that this issue is very much in the limelight?

Expect changes to the ability to field respec in Warzones. We were already working on this as part of some upcoming PvP updates (Bruce detailed some of that this week I believe), and we may bring the field respec changes forward - or we may just keep them where they are so to not impact the game update schedules and instead update our existing Warzone game forensic reporting to include inhumanly fast field respec events. Either way my advise if you are currently macroing within Warzones is to stop.
the only question i have with all of this is will you actually do it? I know from personal experiance i have reported the same person 6 days in a row for the same exploit just to seem him on the 6th day doing the same thing.

You guys say you log everything but yet you do not do a simple search for something like "lord" in a name to fix the people violating naming rules.

I totally believe you guys log everything and something as obvious as a macroed field respec is pretty obvious, but telling the difference in someone "fat fingering" 2 keys at the same time and having a macro do it is not something an algorithm can determine.

Like i said i am all for enforcing rules, but you have already set the precedent that you do not actively enforce many of the rules you have listed like the naming rules, it takes someone reporting people for you to realize that "lordwhatchadoit" or "DarthRÍvan" has been breaking the rules for 9 months with just his name.

Sziroten's Avatar


Sziroten
06.23.2013 , 12:03 AM | #283
The only eyebrow raiser in this answer was the sample he took for calling an inc in a warzone.

First of all.... people don't call incs in random warzones.

Second, allowing a text message being linked to an ability doesn't seem like especially game breaking, would however improve the overall communication if you are not in voice chat and are running random content.
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Exly's Avatar


Exly
06.23.2013 , 12:50 AM | #284
Quote: Originally Posted by funkiestj View Post
QUESTION: What makes one advantage fair and another unfair?

ANSWER: The people who make up the rules of the game decide what is allowed and what is prohibited. Doing something that is prohibited is unfair.
I disagree, While you would hope that a game company's rules would be rooted in fairness, it is possible for that company to create rules that are unfair, and in this case, it seems unfair to prohibit text macros unless they also prohibit voice chat.

Syberduh's Avatar


Syberduh
06.23.2013 , 12:55 AM | #285
Quote: Originally Posted by Altheran View Post
Not difficult at all. For the macro that he said to be allowed, you just have to ask the macro to impulse "1","2","3" and "4" in a short time frame. It's the game itself which will act as a script. There is nothing simplier.

If "1" is off-CD => "1" will be accepted, then "2","3","4" will be in "can't use yet" status because of GCD
If "1" is on CD, while "2" is not => "1" will be refused, "2" will be accepted, "3" and "4" will fail thanks to GCD
If "1" and "2" are on CD while "3" isn't => "1" and "2" will be refused, "3" will be accepted, "4" will fail thanks to GCD
You guess the last cases when only "4" is avaliable, and when none are.

This macro is in "grey-area" because the automation can be argued.

Note that as soon as one of the abilities is unaffected by GCD, the macro will make 2 abilities fire. It will be forbidden.
A macro of the type you've just described was explicitly forbidden by Phillip_BW on page 21. Details on page 19. The explicitly allowed cycling macro requires the macro to be scripted in such a way that it sends the server only a single command per key press.



Copy/pasted text from Phillip_BW's post:

Interesting approach there funkiestj.

I thought I was pretty clear that one input action must equal only one action in game, but obviously not - so please find below red X's next to the correct answers.

Enjoy!

Use case 1
keycode to ability bindings (guardian class)
1 - dispatch
2 - guardian slash
3- strike
user presses the '1' key on his device
macro system (in response to the '1' key press) sends the keycodes 1, 2, 3 with no significant delay between keycodes
ability bound to 2 is cast, no other abilities are cast

[ ] allowed by ToS
[X] prohibited by ToS
[ ] example to clear enough to give a ruling
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Kurvv's Avatar


Kurvv
06.23.2013 , 01:07 AM | #286
The most important thing I got from this thread is that if I make a single-key macro to hit ctrl+u x2 to reset my broken warzone queue button every time I log in, I'm breaking the ToS. Interesting.
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funkiestj's Avatar


funkiestj
06.23.2013 , 02:11 AM | #287
Quote: Originally Posted by cashogy_reborn View Post
what is so complicated about this?

it doesnt matter what controller you are using, what keyboard, whether or not you have rebound keys, etc.

one button press = one ability performed. its not rocket science.........
Phillip disagrees. Use case 1 adheres to one button press, one (or no*) ability performed yet it is prohibited. either dispatch or guardian slash or strike is executed but never more than 1 per key press.

Quote: Originally Posted by Phillip_BW View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Originally Posted by funkiestj
Use case 1
  • keycode to ability bindings (guardian class)
    • 1 - dispatch
    • 2 - guardian slash
    • 3- strike
  • user presses the '1' key on his device
  • macro system (in response to the '1' key press) sends the keycodes 1, 2, 3 with no significant delay between keycodes
  • ability bound to 2 is cast, no other abilities are cast

[ ] allowed by ToS
[X ]prohibited by ToS
[ ] example not clear enough to give a ruling
NOTE: if Phillip backpedals on this and says he was wrong then it just illustrates the incomprehensibility of the current rules. He has not yet walked this one back.
[*] the key press may result in no ability being performed if the target is out of range.

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Doomsdaycomes's Avatar


Doomsdaycomes
06.23.2013 , 02:27 AM | #288
Quote: Originally Posted by Raansu View Post
1.) By that logic using voice chat would be against the ToS. I don't see what the big deal is with that. How is it any different that using copy/paste? I know a lot of players that copy inc messages so they can paste it into chat quickly. Really that is no different than using a text macro. There is no logic to your post on this aspect because not only is it harmless, there are also other means to accomplish the same thing that according to this are not against the ToS.
For people still harping on voice chat giving advantages etc:

Quote: Originally Posted by Doomsdaycomes View Post
Again it's an issue of what BW can and can't control.

I don't think any one is denying that Voip gives an advantage though I think people tend to over state it's potential (or most common use).

In an ideal, "fair" environment for pvp either everyone would have voice chat, macros, etc.. or no one would. But this isn't an ideal world and unfortunately, Bioware can only influence anything that:

1) Modifies it's Client
2) Inputs into it's client.

Voice chat does not, and so fair or unfair, they really can't make policy about it.
So -stop- trying to use voice chat to justify macro's. Maybe Bioware hates voice chat and thinks it's a bane on human existence. Like it or not though, they have -no- authority to tell people they can or can't use a voice program outside of their game. It's not in their jurisdiction.
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funkiestj's Avatar


funkiestj
06.23.2013 , 02:40 AM | #289
Quote: Originally Posted by Doomsdaycomes View Post
I think part of the people posting here are trying to really clarify things they're not understanding.

Another part of them are trying to figure out what they can still get away with.

Some of them are outraged that Bioware ruled against them and are trying to justify macro use with another issue entirely.

Some of them are trying to make a point about fairness. (and not understanding the core concept of what BW does and doesn't have a say in.)
The two things I want more than anything:
  1. a clear, understandable policy.
  2. said policy is vigorously enforce. I.e. I don't want SWTOR PvP to be like Tour de France where PEDs cheating has been the rule, not the exception, among competitive riders (all winners?) over the last few decades.

If a rule is too hard to enforce then it is better to eliminate the rule.

Quote:
I agree though, the definition of what is or isn't allowed seemed pretty clear to me.
Please reread this post in which two different BW employees given contradictory information about what is allowed and then tell me it is clear.

--

TANGENT: one of the phrases the comes up again and again in this dicussion is unfair advantage.
  • superior playing skill is an advantage
  • superior gear is an advantage
  • superior choices in min/maxing gear is an advantage
  • better computer hardware is an advantage
  • better internet service is an advantage
  • smaller latency is an advantage (usually the result of physical proximity)
  • macros (compared with no macros) is an advantage. (note, based on Phillip_BW's last post I'd prefer to say all macro use in WZ is prohibited as that best reflects the stated policy and the traditional definition of macros)
  • voice chat (vs no voice chat) is an advantage


if we ask the abstract question which of these advantages is fair and which is unfair? , the correct answer is "what ever the folks who run the game say is fair is fair, and what ever they say is unfair is unfair". I.e. they define what is fair/unfair via the rules.

It is a wholly subjective choice. Logic alone will not provide the answer.

Now BW will try to chose rules (definitions of fair/unfair) that they think will make their PvP most popular and bring in the most revenue.

Most players want logically consistent, understandable rules, hence the outrage that "inc west" macro is disallowed yet voice chat is (rightly) allowed.

---

Again, thanks Phillip_BW for wading in! I think the rulings you have provided give us bad rules but that is better than having stumble around in a cloud of uncertainty.

Thanks to all the players who are giving constructive input! It will be interesting to see if this thread results in changes that improve the rules for PvP some time before 2013 December 31.

Spoiler

Mr. Hat says "BW support is the best"!
I am a bad player, so what?

JackNader's Avatar


JackNader
06.23.2013 , 02:41 AM | #290
He has to backpedal on case 1 because only 1 ability is being inputed into 1 GCD. There is no advantage at all.

To be frank, this whole debate is pointless. Bioware can NEVER stop people doing this despite what they claim. More so, it's not even worth the $ paying people to look into. Macro programs have been around for years. Most gaming companies rely on these third party companies to produce intuitive devices and software for games so that they do not have too. In some cases, these devices and software allow people to play who wouldn't normally be able too. I knew a guy who played battlefield 2 with only 1 arm. There is no question in my mind that he used similar software to be able to compete. If EA had of investigated and seen he was using third party programs and then decided he was against the TOS and banned him. Imagine the legal **** storm which would have ensued. "OMG EA HATES DISABLED PEOPLE!!! Down with EA!!!" Yeh, I don't think any gaming company wants to cross that line.

Moral of the story, Bioware needs to produce an alternative version for use with swtor.